Last Sunday was Father’s Day and our first official summer family gathering. It was a chilly wet day and we huddled around the kitchen table over our plates of potato salad and hamburgers reminiscing about camping trips we’d taken.
“I remember when we went camping and forgot the diapers, so we used duck tape and towels instead,” my sister-in-law recalled laughing at the memory.
My husband jabbed me in the rib cage and told about the time I’d forgotten to pack any bedding. “It was a cold night on the hard ground. All we had were the beach blankets.”
“I never took my sons camping, so they missed out on experiences like that,” piped up another relative and gave a wry smile.
Then one of my nephews said that they never camp.
“What do you do then,” I asked.
“We stay in motels!”
My husband and I are drawn to recreating in the great outdoors so of course, camping is included. But, we are trying something new this year. Though we considered selling our house and buying a Sprinter Van, we bought a canopy for the truck instead.
Once the new canopy was installed we decided to make a trial run with our new equipment. Though most people think ahead and make their camping reservations in the dead of winter, I was fortunate enough to find a spot with only a week’s notice. A two hour drive from home and complete with a lake so we could kayak was the perfect place to start our new camping experience.
We pulled into the campground and backed into our spot. It didn’t take long to set out our cooking gear and unload the firewood for our campfire. And then we took a walk.
Strolling through the campground I noticed that everyone has their own way of camping. There were tents that popped up out of the bed of a truck, an extension to the back of a Subaru, and family sized tents. I observed more than one or two young families and hoped they’d remembered the diapers or at least a roll of duct tape.
When we returned to our site, I started our one skillet dinner while Luke built a campfire. The smell of pine trees, damp earth and smoke filled the air. We sat close to the fire listening to it pop and hiss. As it grew later, the dark sky sparkled with the bright stars. Then we crawled into the back of our truck with its new cover and layed ourselves down to sleep on the well padded bed. I thought of my nephew who never camps and wondered, “Why in the world would you want to sleep in a motel?”
Why bother making new memories? It is summer and whether you choose the camping or motel experience it is time for big or small adventures and new memories.